The president and partner of the US branding agency on the business influence of his dad and the healing benefits of fishing
David Herbruck’s father was an insurance salesman while he was growing up - a job that David believes he didn’t love but did do with the utmost respect and care for his fellow employees. David learned from that from an early age wanted to channel his father’s business traits into a creative job that he loved. He’s done that via loyalkaspar, the NY and LA-based branding agency of which he’s the president and a partner.
The business started out life ‘making’ but has since gone on to get involved in the strategic side of things, getting in on the creative action earlier down the pipeline. We caught up with David to find out more about the influence of his dad, the benefits of brutal honesty with clients and wishing he’d taken bigger swings earlier in his career.
Q> How has loyalkaspar developed since you co-founded it? What are the biggest changes you’ve encountered over the years?
DH> We started out very much as makers. People would bring us ideas and we would execute them using our design and production expertise. Over the years we’ve added strategic capabilities, so we could have a seat at the table early on and truly partner with our clients on solving problems in the most effective way. The making is more gratifying when you believe in the context that is fuelling the creative.
Q> What are the keys to good branding? How do you define branding in a creative space where practically everything is branded in some way?
DH> The key to good branding is clarity and consistency. It doesn’t matter how cluttered the space is as long as you are authentic to your product or service and position and communicate in a creative way that will emotionally resonate with your audience.
Q> Who has influenced you? And has that affected how you like to lead and approach your responsibility?
DH> My dad was an insurance salesman growing up. He owned his own business and took the responsibility of caring for his family and employees very seriously. Probably to a fault. I don’t think he loved his job and would come home and hole-up in his shop and make beautiful pieces of furniture. That was his escape. Early on I learned that I didn’t want to bifurcate my career and passion like that, so I found a job where I could apply the traits I saw in my dad of being a fair, pragmatic and practical business person, but do it around wildly creative people who are sponges for nurtured leadership.
Q> What piece of advice do you wish you'd had when you were starting out?
DH> We were very conservative and grew organically as the demand increased. I’m not saying this approach wasn’t right, but I wish we took a few more big swings early on as you naturally become more risk-averse the older you get and the responsibilities increase.
Q> What do you look for when hiring new talent into the agency?
DH> Talent is the price of admission, whether it’s design, animation, producing, writing, etc. But most of all we look for people that will both fit into our culture, but also bring a unique diverse perspective to the team.
Q> What have you recently been most proud to work on? And what was it that specifically made it work?
DH> We recently worked on a new campaign to promote the CNN docuseries, The 2000s. The series premiered in July, and our tease and OOH print before that
. But what I’m most proud of is the ongoing collaboration we have with the client. This is the fourth season we have partnered with them on this series. Nothing replaces a good collaborative relationship between agency and client. The short-hand and brutal honesty you develop really optimises the potential for great creative.
Q> What do you like to do in your spare time? Any current obsessions?
DH> I don’t get a lot of time to myself, both at work and at home with two kids, so when I do I like to go fishing. It lets me check out and reconnect with nature, which I find therapeutic.